The sense of accomplishment after a Monday-Friday school/work week is a beautiful gift in itself. The weekend calls for relaxation. It’s a time to perhaps slow one’s productivity, feel revitalized, and focus on recreation rather than that To-Do list.
I haven’t crossed anything off in my planner yet.
I haven’t done enough.
You know why? Because I’ve been relaxing.
Whoooooa. In the mindset of “go, go, go, ACCOMPLISH,” it almost feels like until all of my tasks are completed, I should be working, not relaxing.
How entirely false that is!
Of course, there’s an essential balance between work and relaxation, of which we are all aware to some extent. However, in the midst of this holiday season, it’s most likely that you’re given more time off school (or work), which means you have more time to decide how you’re going to use that time. It’s a lot easier to be productive when it’s incorporated into your schedule, isn’t it? (or maybe that’s just me…)
The reason I’m writing this is because I’m currently on what we call “Thanksgiving Break,” and yesterday, I was in a bit of a sour mood throughout the day, even though I did just about everything I wanted to do. I saw my horse, I went to the gym, I took a nap… it was a beautiful day with many beautiful moments. When people asked me how I was doing, I responded by saying:
“Why, Siena, are you just okay?”
Because I feel so unproductive. I feel like I wasted my entire day.
My favorite response was this: “You didn’t waste your day. You actually did things. You saw your horse, you wrote an essay, you got things done. That’s not a wasted day.”
Wow. Hm. That’s so entirely true. We automatically define productivity in one way or another. If you’re a student like me, you probably see productivity in terms of your assignments — the books you have to read, the papers you have to write, etc.
But there are many different kinds of productivity, and if you’re using your time to 1) be genuinely happy 2) be introspective/reflective or 3) be with people (or pets) that you love, isn’t that some form of productivity? Is sitting with your best friend having a fascinating conversation any less productive (or intellectually/emotionally stimulating) than writing an essay?
Especially during the holiday season in which we are called to spend less time huddled in our textbooks and keyboards and more time cuddled around the fireplace, don’t feel like you’re wasting your time, because you aren’t. (And if that doesn’t convince you, science will. Realize that your body is producing carbon dioxide for plants with every exhale, so you’re literally never being unproductive. Your plant brothers & sisters thank you).
Productivity isn’t always checking something off in your planner. Productivity is more so living with passion, acting in ways that authentically enhance your life and/or the lives of those around you.
Your time is precious, and you aren’t wasting it. Go smile.